Content marketing for freelancers: notes on tone and content

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When you’re a freelancer, leads are your lifeline. Where do they come from? Five years experience at this has taught me that while content marketing works, tone is just as important as content. Back up a bit. I have had six full-time jobs in my pre-freelance career. The first five of them I got through … Continued

This post smells like my navel

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Goop sells a $75 candle that smells like Gwyneth Paltrow’s vagina. Paltrow and her perfumer came up with it. Look, I’m no prude. Bodies have smells, and smells generate emotions, some warm and touching. But that’s because the smell goes with the body. That’s why your girlfriend’s hands or your husband’s cuddle smell so good … Continued

The three sources of leads, or why it pays to be nice

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There are three basic ways for a freelancer to get business: inbound queries, referrals, and community participation. They have one thing in common: being nice pays off. Inbound is effective, but expensive Inbound marketers would have you believe that if you create awesome, SEO-enabled content, leads will roll in. They are right, but it is … Continued

The end of the No Name Restaurant

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There was once a seafood restaurant in Boston that had no name. It never marketed itself; the food did the talking. It lasted 102 years. Now it’s bankrupt and gone. When I first came to Boston in 1979, I lived in graduate student housing in Cambridge, a four-bedroom apartment with three other guys. The day … Continued

What’s your 3-second brand?

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A new year is coming up. Perhaps you want to try to get very well known for something this year — write a book, give speeches, become a thought leader. When people think about you, what will they think? What’s your personal brand? You may want to think very long and hard about that, and … Continued

I do my first editorial/writing meeting with Zoom video (and you should, too)

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I’ve pitched and landed some new clients lately. When we do our first “kick the tires” meeting, I always send them an invite from my Zoom videoconferencing account — partly because it works, and partly because of the impression it makes. Here’s why you should, too. My clientele are entrepreneurs, business executives, and publishers. I … Continued

It’s time to ban all political ad targeting . . . everywhere

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Google will stop targeting political ads based on behavior. That’s a start. I call on every platform to end all targeted political ads (except by geography) — and for Congress to make this the law. Here’s what happened with political ads so far in 2019: Twitter banned all political ads. Google just announced that for … Continued

The rebranding: FACEBOOK or Zuckerbook?

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The parent company of Facebook is now FACEBOOK. As rebranding goes, that sucks. I have some better suggestions. “Today, we’re updating our company branding to be clearer about the products that come from Facebook. We’re introducing a new company logo and further distinguishing the Facebook company from the Facebook app, which will keep its own … Continued